This week, state regulators in California adopted a first-in-the-nation mandate to reduce electricity demand by banning power-hungry TVs. (Insert joke here about power-hungry state regulators…)
On a unanimous vote, the California Energy Commission required all new televisions up to 58 inches to be more energy efficient, beginning in 2011. Only a quarter of all TVs currently on the market meeting that standard and the requirement will get even tougher in 2013.
The commission estimates that TVs account for about 10% of a home’s electricity use and their concern is that this will rise by as much as 8% a year as consumers buy larger TVs, install more in their homes and watch them for longer periods of time.
Commissioners say energy efficiency standards are the cheapest and easiest way to save electricity.
Environmental groups supported the tougher standards and hoped they will prompt manufacturers to make new energy-efficient models for the rest of the nation. They said the rules would cut California’s power bill by $1 billion a year, avoiding the need to build a 500-megawatt power plant.